Monday, February 27, 2012

Willem Juriaensz

What is in a Name

Off the coast of Schleswig, in the North Sea, lay the island of Nordstrand. Here, in 1618, was born to Wilhelm Jurianse a daughter, Volkie. Then in 1634, Nordstrand was destroyed by a devastating flood, and Volkie and her sister Annetje Juriaens survived and were taken to the coastal town of Husum. Their parents were killed in the storm.

Yet, in the records of New Amsterdam there are several references to Willem Juriaensz?

As I will relate below, Willem number two, late in his life, lived with Jan Van Husum and Volkie Jurriens in Claverack, offering to teach them how to bake. The difference in name spelling can be attributed to language. The German language uses the letter ẞ/ß (called eszett (sz) or scharfes S, sharp s. Dutch has no such letter. As we will see below, the name was also spelled Jurrianse and Jurriaanse.

I did find one tie in that seemingly connects both Willem and Volkie. But before we get to that, let's hear the story.

The Story

Willem Jurianesz settled in the colony of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, arriving in the fall of 1638 (Jan and Volkjie arrived in the summer of 1639). Willem's occupation was given as Captain. But he also earned a living as a baker, and, at least once, for providing lumber from a saw mill in which he may have had an interest. Beginning as early as 1644, he was in trouble with his neighbors for various misdeeds.

Read online from the New York State Library the Van Rensselaer Bowier manuscripts: being the letters of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer.Page 820 concerns Willem Juriaensz, alias Backer, alias Capitaijn. On the following pages at 821 and 822 are seven passengers on Den Harinck, which arrived in New Amsterdam the following summer. Missing are the names of Jan and Volkie.

This short biographical sketch of Willem is given in O'Callaghan, History of New Netherland, 1:437-38, and online at's list of Rensselaerswyck Settlers 1630-1658.  (The listings are chronological and Willem Jurianensz is three quarters of the way down.) This is a reprint of the New York State site.

A more complete account of Willem is given in Beverwijck: a Dutch village on the American frontier, 1652-1664, by Janny Venem.

The biographical sketch notes that Willem was often at odds with other settlers and frequently hauled before the authorities. He was twice ordered to be banished from the colony, but the sentence seems not to have been carried out.

Willem was getting up in age and Jan and Volkie agreed to take him in. In exchange for his keep, Willem would agree to teach Volkie and Jan how to bake. Willem apparently refused to keep up his end of the contract as he would hide the baking utensils. A final entry contains this note:
Nov. 30, 1651, Willem Juriaensz declared that he refused to fulfil his contract with Jan van Hoesen, dated Jan. 30, 1650, and Jan. 18, 1652, the court gave Jan van Hoesen permission to occupy the erf (lot, or bakery) of Willem Juriaensz, on condition that the latter be allowed to dwell in his house as long as he lived ofte de gelegenheijt presenteert (or an opportunity for removing to another place presented itself).
Jan and Volkie would continue with their bakery after Willem died. Indeed, Volkie would continue the trade after her husband's death. And the bakery would serve for yet another legal squabble, but that is a different story.

A Connection? 

Was there a family connection between Willem Juriaensz and Volkje Jurriens. If so, there is no mention of it in the biographical sketch.

The bio reports that Willem sailed on the ship de Liefde [the Charity] from the Texel September 25, 1638, arriving at New Amsterdam, December 27, 1638. Joyce Lindstrom reports that Jan and Volkje, after marrying in the Dutch Reformed Church in Amsterdam, set sail on the ship "Den Harlinck" [usually spelled Den Harinck]in May of 1639, arriving in New Amsterdam on July 7, 1639.

The connection is finally found in another source.  If you go to and do a search of the name Jurriaens you get a connection:
18. Volkje JURRIAANSE - Ancestral File Gender: F Birth/Christening: Abt 1618 Noorstrand Islan, , Schleswig-Holste, Germany
19. Wilhelm JURRIANSE (VAN NOORDSTRANT) - Ancestral File Gender: M Birth/Christening: Abt 1592 , , Netherlands
Volkie ties into Jan Van Husum (Van Hoesn) and the island of Nordstrand. Willem ties into the island of Nordstrand as well and is the correct age. This might suggest that Willem and Volkie were uncle and niece.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Along the Schuylkill River

By the third generation, the Van Hooser family was ready to move again. This time the family would move from upstate New York to the Township of Heidelberg in the County of Berks, Pennsylvania.

The Van Hooser family had come to America in 1639. The first Van Huss name was Jan Franz Van Husum, so called because he came from the small coastal town of Husum in North Friesland. He arrived in New York, along with his wife Volkje Juriens or Jurrianse.  She was from the neighboring island of Nordstrand which had been devastaed by the Nordstrand Flood of 1634.

Note. You will have noticed that I have already spelled the last name several ways. That is because over the years the name changed according to location and use. Jan was originally Van Husum, literally "from Husum". In New York the accepted spelling was Van Hoesen. This then became Van Hooser or Vanhooser. The "e" was sometimes left off, giving us Vanhoose. One wonders about the German influence on the name. One also wonders about the similarity to the Indiana nickname "Hoosier". Van Huss, which is the spelling of my wife's family, did not come into use until after 1795.

Eventually, Jan and Volkje would make there way to upstate New York, settling in the Rennsylaerwick colony. Jan did well, trading with the Indians for beaver, buying land and raising at least nine children. It was their seventh child Johannes Van Hoesen, who was to father a son, also named Johannes, who would emigrate from New York to Pennsylvania.

This Johannes, grandson to Jan and Vlokje, was born in 1697 in Kingston, New York. In 1720, he married Elizabeth Christina Laux (Lauck). They lived for awhile in New York, but in 1728, followed Elizabeth's brother Abraham to Pennsylvania. They settled on land in Heidelberg Township next to the Tulpehocken Creek along the Schuylkill River. The area is now an historic district.

Johannes and Elizabeth lived in Heidelberg Township until 1753 or 1754. Their neighbors included Conrad Weiser, an early settler who spoke Mohawk and help to mediate between the Indians who lived along the Schuylkill and the white settlers. See Conrad Weiser. When Johannes and Elizabeth left Pennsylvania for North Carolina, Conrad Weiser along with Abraham Laux would witness the deed selling their land in Pennsylvania.

Other neighbors included the Boone and Lincoln families. The Boone family arrived in Pennsylvania in 1717 and settled in Oley, near the settlement of the Vanhoosers in Tulpehocken, now called Robesonia. Mapquest shows it to be a scant 20 miles apart with Oley to the east of Reading and the Tulpehocken Creek to the west. Mapquest. The Lincoln family lived in Chester County for a period around the same time. The Lincolns would move to Augusta, Virginia. The Boones moved to Rowan and Anson counties in North Carolina, where Johannes and Elizabeth settled.

One can find online the deed of sale from Johannes and Elizabeth Vanhooser to John Joseph Derr and Henry Boyer. Joyce Lindstrom also reports the sale in her extensive family history. The deed reports the slae of 200 acres of land located between the properties of William Allen to the south and east and Abraham Laux to the north and west.

Note. Trying to exactly identify the location is difficult. Joyce Lindstrom reports that Johannes lived near present day Robesonia, near the larger city of Reading. Abraham Laux (Lauck) is buried in St. Daniel's Lutheran Church in Robesonia. Conrad Weiser's property is well to the west. William Allen owned property far to the south near Londongrove, but he also owned other property.

Johannes and Elizabeth's departure to North Carolina was well-timed. In 1754, the French and Indian War broke out along the Pennsylvania frontier. English General Braddock and colonial forces were defeated by French and Indian forces in the summer of 1755 in western Pennsylvania. In the fall the Indians killed 14 settlers and took hostage another 11 at Penn's Creek, which was much nearer to the Tulpehocken settlements.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Lutheran Family in a Quaker Village - Johannes Vanhooser and Elisabetha Christina Lauck

A Lutheran Family - Johannes Vanhooser and Elisabetha Christina Laux (Lauck)

In 1728 Johannes Vanhooser and Elizabetha Christina Lauck (Laux) moved their family from Kingston, New York to Heidelberg Township near today's Robesinia, Pennsylvania. The family then consisted of three children, the youngest of which was young Valentine Felty Vanhooser, then three years old. A child would be born the same year in Tulpehocken, which suggest that Elizabeth was pregnant during the trip. In all, six children would be added to the family during the Vanhooser sojourn in Pennsylvania.

Tulpehocken in colonial times refers to the valley of the creek of the same name. Tulpehocken Creek is a tributary of the Schulyskill River, which flows through Philadelphia. Tulpehocken was the destination for immigrants from New York under the leadership of Conrad Weiser. The immigrants were originally from from the Palatinate, a region in southwest Germany. Elizabeth Christina Lauck, wife of Johannes and mother of Valentine Felty Vanhooser, was one of these immigrants. (Joyce Lindstrom has written much on this topic.)

Note. This region includes the city of Kaiserslautern and the wine regions along the Rhine River. As a young military officer, I was stationed in Kaiserslautern and enjoyed the many wine festivals.

In addition to German settlers, the region was home to many Quakers. Indeed it was William Penn, a Quaker who was granted a charter by King Charles II in 1681 to establish a colony in what would become Pennsylvania. The colony was originally established as a haven for members of the Society of Friends, but Penn opened his doors to other religions including Lutherans. Among the many Quaker families who settled in the same region as Johannes Vanhooser were the families of Daniel Boone and the Lincoln family. Squire Boone, the father of Daniel Boone, had a homestead in nearby Oley, Pennsylvania, 20 miles distant, and to the east of modern day Reading, Pennsylvania.

As tolerant as the Quakers were of other religions, they kept to themselves for the most part. Gatherings by Quakers were called Monthly Meetings, (thus one sees the notation MM in many old documents). Marrying outside the sect was frowned upon. And a parent whose child did so would confess his sin at a meeting. My own family history includes Quakers with the surname of Pearson. They lived in the area at the same time, but I have not found any cross-references.

Tulpehocken Creek

Tulpenhocken Creek and Schuylkill River

Image from Wikipedia.

Tulpehocken Creek drains the limestone hills of eastern Pennsylvania south of the Appalachian Mountains. The creek flows through 8 townships including the Heidelberg Township. The area was settled by German immigrants in 1723.  The Vanhooser family arrived five years later, following in the footsteps of other members of Elizabeth Laux's family. Read the History of Tulpehocken for an interesting story on the migration from New York to Pennsylvania. It references at least one maternal ancestor (Peter Laux) and perhaps others (depending on the spellings). Also visit the page for the Tulpehocken Historical Society.

Today, it is impossible to get a feeling for what Tulpehocken valley was like in 1728. A sense of the forest can be had by going to the Appalachian Trail which overlooks the valley from the north. As a youth, I lived for a year at Carlisle, near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Our Boy Scout Troop would hike and camp along the trail. I was always excited by the tall trees, the clear streams, and the freedom of being in the wilderness. For a strange reason, I remember hiking the trail and pulling up the root of a  Sassafras sapling to taste the flavor of root beer.

In the 1720's and 1730's, the area was still home to at least six different Indian tribes including, Tuscaroras, Tutelas, Conoys, Nanticokes, Shawnees and Susquehannocks, and Delawares. Relations with the Indians were for the most part friendly. But at nearby Manatawny in 1728, a party of Shawnees encountered some settlers who refused to provide them with food. An exchange of gunfire took place and one Indian was wounded. Ancestors of Alan Dwayne Morgan. There would be thirty years of peace until the outbreak of the French and Indian War in 1754. But by this time Johannes Vanhooser and his family had left for the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina. For more, read a short History of Berks County.

The woods in Pennsylvania were then thick and full of game. In addition to bear and deer, there were plentiful stock of beavers, mink, fox, and otter. But with the settlers came farms and livestock and all too soon the game was gone.

Three early Lutheran churches were established, including, now marked by Reed's Cemetery, the site of the first church in Berks County (1727); the Christ Little Tulpehocken Church (original log church 1730, present building 1809), and Christ Lutheran Church (original log church 1743, present building 1786). In 1746 Valentine Felty Vanhooser  married Maria Barbara Zerwe or Zerbe at Tulpehocken, Lancaster (now Berks), Pennsylvania. They were married in the Christ Lutheran Church. Cox-Stewart Family History.

To be continued ...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Two times two and fifty exquisite Biblical Stories from the Old and New Testaments, for youth prepared to the best of his ability by Johann Hübnern,

Two times two and fifty exquisite Biblical Stories from the Old and New Testaments, for youth prepared to the best of his ability by Johann Hübner. Image by William (Bill) Meyers.

Johan Hubner, Two times two and fifty Biblical Stories

The Page reads in German:

Zweimal zwei und fünfzig auserlesene Biblische Historien aus dem Alten und Neuen Testamente,
der Jugend zum Besten abgefass von Johann Hübnern,
Rector des Johannei zu Hamburg. Nebst einer B[V]orrede E. Hoch=ehrwürdigen Ministerei der Stadt Hamburg. Aufs neue revidirt, von M. Joh. Gottfr. Fletch., Past. in Stürmthal
Mit Kaiserlichen, wie auch konigl. Sachsischen allergnadigsten
Leipzig, Johann Friedrich Gleditsch, 1814

The English translation reads:

Two times two and fifty (104) exquisite Biblical Stories from the Old and New Testaments for youth prepared to the best of his ability by Johann Hübner,
Rector (Master) of St. John's, Hamburg. In addition, Preface by the most-reverend Minister of  the city of Hamburg. Revised, by John M. Gottfr. Fletch., Pastor at Stürmthal (Störmthal)


With Imperial, as well royal permission of Saxony graciously given

Privileges (Copyright)


Leipzig, Johann Friedrich Gleditsch, 1814

Notes.  These Biblical stories were a popular source of instruction of youth within the German Lutheran communities both in Europe and the United States. In the early 1700's, there was a wave of German immigrants to America from the Palatinate Region, southwest Germany. This immigration was a result of the Thirty Years War and the religious intoleration that still existed in Germany.
Jan Franz Van Husum's grandson, Johannes Vanhooser married one of these immigrants, Elizabeth Christina Laux (Lauck). Their son Valentine Felty Vanhooser would marry Maria Barbara Zerbe. Her family had likewise emigrated from the Palatinate and arrived in America in 1710. German was spoken in many of the early communities.

A later edition of Hubner's stories was published in St. Louis in 1869. The notes from this source point out that "Johannei" (Johanneum in Latin, in English, we would think of it as St. John's Preparatory School) is the oldest academic secondary (pre-university) school in Hamburg, founded in 1529 by Johannes Burgenhagen. Burgenhagen was a spiritual emissary of Martin Luther. See also, Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums.

Johann Hübner, 1668 - 1731, (the modern day spelling drops the last "n" from the name Hubnern), was a German teacher, poet, historical author, as well as author of school books, and Protestant religious theorist during the Reformation. Johann Hübner, German Wikipedia. He originally published his Two times fifty-two Biblical stories in 1714.

The Biblical stories were actively published from 1714 until either 1870 or 1902. The book that Bill Meyers has was published in Leipzig, Germany in 1814. During its active life, the book underwent 40 publications and 19 revisions, which included translations into six European languages, and also appeared in the USA. Johan Hubner.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Another Time

Bill Meyers, William F. Meyers, sent me three images of religious text written in German.

The first is the cover page of Johann Hübner's, Two times two and fifty select biblical stories from the old and new testament, composed for the benefit of youth, (published 1814). The second image shows the beginning two pages of the 44th biblical story, Von Peter Berlangnung, which translates as "the making of Peter". The last image is from the Gospel of Mark, On Easter Day, the first sermon, Mark, chapter  16, verses 1 - 8. The images are Bill's and permission to use them was graciously given.

Johann Hubner, Two times Fifty-Two Excellent Bible Stories
from the Old and new Testament, especially prepared for Youth.

Story 44, the Making of Peter

The Gospel of Mark, On Easter Day, chapter 16, verses 1- 8.

I have to admit that I was a little taken back to get them for several reasons. First, I had taken German in high school and college, so it would be fun to take a stab at translating the pages. Second, I love old books, and the history behind them. Finally, as Bill said in his email with the images, there is a bit of a mystery as to whether the books belonged to Mathias Van Huss or Valentine Felty Van Huss.

 Who spoke German?

Mathias was born in 1795, the year his father Valentine crossed into eastern Tennessee and settled near Fort Watauga, present day Elizabethton. Johan Hubner's book is the 1814 edition. That makes Mathias at least 19 years old at the date of publication of the one book. Of course, dad was considerably older. For that reason, Mathias seems to be favored as owner of the books. Unless, Valentine used the books in instructing other youth.

What is the case for Mathias? ... Mathias was the fifth child of Valentine Felty Vanhooser Jr. and Elizabeth Worley. Elizabeth, being descended from English stock, would not seem a likely candidate to teach her son German. That is unless we go back into Elizabeth's family history. She was the daughter of Valentine Worley and Anna Barbara Spraker. And, Anna Barbara Spraker was the daughter of Johann Christopher Sprecher and Elizabeth Reigher, both of whom were German to the core. Rutledge Family History.

For that matter, Mathias' grandmother on his father's side was Maria Barbara Zerwe ‎(Zerbe). She was thoroughly German on her side of the family. She and Mathias' grandfather, Valentine Felty Van Hooser, Sr. were married in the German Lutheran Church in a German community in Tulpenhocken, Pennsylvania. Valentine, Sr. had migrated with his parents to Tulpehocken, Lancaster (now Berks County, Pennsylvania near Reading). There he grew up in Heidelburg Township in the vicinity of what is now called Robesonia. He lived in a German community most likely speaking German, since his mother, aunts and uncles were also of that nationality. See Cox-Stewart Family History.

One last clue is Mathias name which is the German form of Matthew.

All this leads to the conclusion that the Vanhooser/Van Huss line went from Dutch to truly Deutsch, at least in language. Either Mathias or father Valentine would have spoken German.

Then, there is one other possibility. In 1814, Mathias Van Huss  went off with General Andrew Jackson to fight in the War of 1812. When he came back he settled down, got married to Elizabeth Worley in 1817, and next year had a child by the name of Valentine Worley Van Huss. Other children followed, Elizabeth died, and Mathias remarried in 1822 to Lovinia Dugger. The books could have been read by the children of Mathias.

As I live in Kansas with my wife who is descended from a Van Huss, it is not all that surprising. For Kansas gave rise to many communities in the late 1800's and early 1900's which were German, Swedish, and even Czech in origin. Language and culture have a way of hanging on. Sometimes time moves slowly.

Thank goodness.